(JTA) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reportedly said Iran does not want “new tensions” in the region after a deadly exchange with Israel in Syria.
‘Iran does not want ‘new tensions’ in the region, Rouhani says.” Agence France Presse tweeted on Thursday afternoon. There was no follow-up or attribution.
Israeli combat aircraft hit sites housing Iranian materiel and personnel in Syria overnight, killing as many as 23 troops belong to the Assad regime’s army and allied forces. It was not clear if there were Iranian dead.
The Israeli strikes came after Iranian rocket attack strikes on the Israeli-held Golan Heights. In a rare and robust acknowledgment of an Israeli strike on Syrian territory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would not hesitate to carry out preemptive strikes to prevent Iran from gaining a permanent foothold in Syria.
“The international community needs to prevent the Iranian Al-Quds force from establishing itself in Syria. We need to unite in order to cut off its spreading tentacles of evil there and everywhere,” he said, referring to the Iranian strike force advising the Assad regime in quelling the civil war in Syria. “I repeat: Whoever hurts us – we will hurt them sevenfold, and whoever is preparing to hurt us – we will act to hit them first.”